April 21st, 2008
01:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton campaign criticizes Obama for McCain comments

(CNN) - Top advisers to Hillary Clinton denied Monday that there was any contradiction between the New York senator’s criticism of Barack Obama for saying all three White House hopefuls would make better leaders than President Bush and her comment several weeks ago that she and John McCain, but not Barack Obama, were qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

“There’s a difference in the context of how voters will look at a candidate in an election and how the person will govern,” said Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on a conference call with reporters.

Shortly before the March 4 primaries, Clinton told reporters that on the question of who is best-equipped to deal with a crisis, “I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say” in a general election fight. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

On Monday, Clinton’s advisers would not answer questions about what she thought of the decision by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to commute the sentences of two members of the controversial group, Weather Underground. Both had been convicted of violent crimes.

Clinton criticized Obama at last Wednesday’s debate for his relationship with Weather Underground founder William Ayers.

They also dialed down expectations for results from tomorrow’s primary, arguing that Clinton does not have to win by a large margin to stay viable as a presidential candidate. They argued that the Obama campaign’s huge outlay in the state – it has spent more than double what Clinton has – did not come simply because his campaign has a significant cash advantage, but because he was hoping for a “knock-out blow.”

“If Sen. Obama can’t win a big swing state with that enormous spending advantage, just what will it take for him to win a large swing state?” said Wolfson.

soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Bukky

    Ohhh a swing and miss from camp Clinton. Obama is pretty much saying ANYONE is better that Bush. the is probably the truest statement mdae so for in the campaign. Clinton said McCain would be better than Obama... that is a slap to every democrat... But hey Hillary already said "screw em"

    April 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Ricky

    OK so she didn't say to long ago that McCain and herself were the only ones ready for the position of president?

    April 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Hillary you are a joke. If he is not qualified, what does that make her she is losing to him.

    April 21, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Nora

    This takes the cake. As many times as she has eluded to or all but endorsing McCain during debates and stomp speeches. Talk about a hypocrit. And before the Goon supporters jump in to defend, it appears that Hillary spends a lot of time attacking Obama and then he defends but it is amazing how HRC supporters feels that it is Obama who is attacking Hillary. If this is what most Americans think, then we are in for a slow ride to Hell in a Pinto

    April 21, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    My prediction is that Hillary Clinton will win the nomination. But in the process, she will become so mean and nasty that Bill will divorce her. A man can only sleep on the couch but so much.

    April 21, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. White male for Obama

    Mccain comment by Obama has been criticized again? Get over this Hillary, you were the person who has been campaigning for Mccain since you lost 11 straight states.

    " Senator has a life time experience and I have a life time experience, but senator Obama has speech he made in 2002".
    She repeaterd this words on many occasion and she has defended it.

    2 week ago Mccain critized Obama for his misdescription of his speech and you Hillary jumped on it supporting Mccain in criticising Obama miscomment.

    NOW what are you saying? Obama is always guilty not matter what comment he made, whether it reflect on people anger, truth about how things are going, other people's comment and for not wearing pin.

    Hillary before you criticize someone else, check your previous comment whether it is conflict with your stands.
    Okay let them showup and laugh a bit.
    Oh...I ready about Hillary's debt. Why is she always be the one to fall into debt when she is very rich.
    She certainly wants to continues campaign for the presidency , and so therfore she whould withraw her money from the bank to campaign . She kept her money and she wants ordinary Americans to donate for her while her money is making profits.

    Fool us once,......fool us twice that is a serious concerns. so if you don't want to be fooled again vote Obama. He has managed his campaign ver well and he will manage the country effectively.
    Bless American

    April 21, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Joe MN

    She can't even manage to get donations, and she's the obvious choice.... give me a break. The people have spoken in the only language politicians understand ..... CASH

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. fairandstraight

    How funny!!! Hillary has been campaigning for Sen. McCain for months now.

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Obama Montana Grandma

    I am sick of thre Clinton Spin....

    She is George Bush in a Pant Suit...

    I hope Barack wins PA and maybe... just maybe... she will go away... (but I seriously doubt she would go away... she is like a bad cough you just can't shake until you see a doctor for a remedy).

    Yes... We... Can...

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    It is okay for Mrs Cliton to say things, but when Obama says it, there is a problem

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Michele J

    Senator Obama, spent the money because he has it! Before PA. polls had him at least 20 points behind Senator Clinton.
    Ask yourself since Senator Clinton want voters to 'think'..why doesn't HRC have enough money to compete? Did HRC underestimate ALL her opponents?
    People make a big deal out of HRC not anticipating Senator Obama to be a real threat...but she was all spent out after Iowa and before 1st Super Tuesday, and ALL Democratic Presidential hopefuls were still in play. So, since I'm thinking, did she also dismiss John Edwards too?

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. D Williams

    This woman has been a nightmare for the American people.
    I will be so glad when she is finally out of the race.

    April 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Michelle

    We see right through you Wolfson. Who cares if he spent more money? He RAISED MORE MONEY by appealing to people who dont give the maximum every time you call them up. Loser.

    April 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Lee WV

    Cilnton campaign complained today that the sky was too blue,that it got dark last night,that water was wet.See where I'm going here?

    April 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. White male for Obama

    Mccain comment by Obama has been criticized again? Get over this Hillary, you were the person who has been campaigning for Mccain since you lost 11 straight states.

    " Senator has a life time experience and I have a life time experience, but senator Obama has speech he made in 2002".
    She repeaterd this words on many occasion and she has defended it.

    2 week ago Mccain criticized Obama for his misdescription of his speech and you Hillary jumped on it supporting Mccain in criticising Obama miscomment.

    NOW what are you saying? Obama is always guilty not matter what comment he made, whether it reflect on people anger, truth about how things are going, other people's comment and for not wearing pin.

    Hillary before you criticize someone else, check your previous comment whether it is conflict with your stands.
    Okay let them showup and laugh a bit.
    Oh...I ready about Hillary's debt. Why is she always be the one to fall into debt when she is very rich.
    She certainly wants to continues campaign for the presidency , and so therfore she whould withraw her money from the bank to campaign . She kept her money and she wants ordinary Americans to donate for her while her money is making profits.

    Fool us once,......fool us twice that is a serious concerns. so if you don't want to be fooled again vote Obama. He has managed his campaign ver well and he will manage the country effectively.
    Bless American

    April 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. MD

    Hillary should kiss Wolfson every day, (if he stops spinning for a New York minute), for his ability for spinning all of her negatives and making her smell like roses on the surface.

    This man is the biggest spinner in the history of American politics. Carl Rove move over!

    April 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. james

    john Mccain is geeting support from democrats. thats funny cliton knows she cant win the election against Obama now she turns in to Republican. She's very fake when she comes out on national TV. Mccain is an coce basket he stoped sniffing lines when Bush told him he will be the next president. Mccain doesnt know economics his a war hack. After their done with Iraq, they will go after Iran. Oil, food is on the rise and Americans are going to feel the worst great depression. Mccain or clinton cant stop it becaue they want the special interest money!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Susan MO

    For Clinton!!!!

    Obama is rude how he spoke to the people of Pennsylvania.

    Clinton is more qualified to be president. It is obviouis.

    Clinton for president :)

    April 21, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Michele J

    Also, if she can't manage a budget that is all for ONE focus (primary/caucus, & General Election)...how can she manage mine!? (USA)

    April 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. quippa hip

    What hypocrisy!

    This posting did not mention how Bill Clinton recently praised McCain as being a moderate.

    Calling your general election opponent a moderate? Since when is that smart strategy?

    April 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Clark Shaffer

    illary will put forth an imagined lifetime of useful and productive experience. Experiences and accomplishments that exist primarily in her own mind.
    It's amazing, still, that more than 40 years ago we elected a president with far less experience, far fewer capabilities and far less engaged and/or comprehending of politics specifically related to the Presidency. Yet, some 40 years later largely due to the myth surrounding his time in office, Kennedy is still highly regarded as one of the 10 best Presidents of this country has ever had.

    Now, looking at the record of Obama relative to Kennedy and the ideals we held in those years, compared to the cynicism we live with today, I'm dumbfounded that anyone can say that "Obama isn't qualified".

    I would offer that the cold war experiences Kennedy dealt with were, and to some extent still are, the most illuminating aspects of his Presidency and the wisdom a "young leader" showed in working to avoid what some of his political opponents would have escalated into full scale war.

    Personally, Hillary does not possess the mental capability to handle any type of crisis. She will be just as polarizing, just as arrogant and just as wrong in her direction/decisions as has been "dubya".

    April 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. jj

    OH I'm sure Obama people will say it's alright for him to say it but when she said it they called her a republican. She said basically the same thing except that Obama wouldn't be ready. He doesn't have the experience they do. I'm voting for experience and he doesn't have it yet. There is something very wrong when you have to spend the kind of money he did and still not get a run away. Kind of like Romney did. Sure hope it backfires on him to show him you can't BUY THE OFFICE>

    April 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslary

    Hillary clinton compaing is a joke. They are flip flaping last time I check they were saying clinton has to win by a large margin when she was up by 20%, now since the margin is lowered to 5% they are saying Clinton does not have to win by a large margin to stay viable as a presidential candidate.

    April 21, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Doreen Augusta Maine

    This makes me laugh out loud - Hillary must not have any memory at all. Or, as I suspect, she is delusional. Everyone remembers, Hillary, when you more than once complemented Senator McCain so it makes you look really stupid to say these kinds of things. You, my friend, have diarrhea of the mouth. You would be better off to just be quiet.

    April 21, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Dennis

    I think Clinton's campaign is attempting to distract the media and votes from the fact that Pennsylvania was a state that Clinton was ahead by, what, 20 poinsts? Now, they have a single digit lead. Furthermore, while Clinton may not have spent as much as Obama, don't think for one second this is an exercise in financial restraint. Clinton's campaign is in the red. She owes more than she has cash on hand. Obama's campaign is in the black, despite his outspending Senator Clinton. Sounds like Obama and his campaign are better at managing a nationwide organization.

    April 21, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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